COACH’S CORNER: New Round Rock McNeil HC Scott Hermes discusses recent hire

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Scott Hermes plans to sign his contract with Round Rock ISD on Monday, when he will officially become the new Round Rock McNeil head football coach.

The school tweeted news about Hermes’ hire earlier this month.

He has 17 years of coaching experience, including spending the last seven at Austin Vandegrift. Before that, he served as an assistant for 11 years at Sanger.

Hermes, 39, is a 1998 graduate of Muenster before attending Texas Tech for his undergraduate studies, and he has a masters from Lamar University.

Hermes shared his thoughts about taking over a McNeil program that went 3-6 last season with TexasHSfootball.com.

What appealed to you about McNeil, and why did you feel like this was the right job to take?
We competed against McNeil whenever I was at Vandegrift, and I always thought they had a lot of really good athletes. I liked the attitude of the kids, and they always played really hard. When the job came open, I thought it was an opportunity for my first head coaching job, and I though it was a place we could win. I though we could do some things to get this thing going back in the direction it was before and back on the winning track.

How long were you thinking about becoming a head coach?
I’ve looked at some stuff the last couple of years, and I felt more ready and more prepared, but I’ve had a lot of good mentors in my career. Vandegrift head coach Drew Sanders has been really good and really showed me a lot and taught me a lot, not just about football, but being an administrator and supporting all of your programs. I think him and some of my other mentors prepared me to step in and be successful.

Is there any advice that Sanders gave you that you could share?
I talk to coach Sanders almost every day. He’s been a sounding board for me whenever I’ve been frustrated or overwhelmed, and he’s given me a lot of good advice. One of the things that he told me that’s really good is whenever you get overwhelmed, just remember W.I.N. That stands for What’s Important Now? Whenever you feel overwhelmed with all of the tasks at hand, think about what’s important right now and start with that, and then work your way from there.

What’s the first step you took after the hire was announced?
After the hire was announced, I was able to use some days that I had to meet the coaches and the players. Honestly, that’s been what most of days have consisted of. When I’ve been able to get away from Vandegrift, it is to sit down and have one-on-one meetings with coaches, meet with the players in the program and start building those relationships. It definitely has given me the opportunity to get to know some people and get to know my players better.

This is a realignment year. Have you had some conversations regarding scheduling?
Oh, yeah. I kind of hit the ground running on non-district games and started making some phone calls right away. I feel good about our non-district schedule and the teams we’re playing. As far as what our district will look like, it looks like we’re going to be in an eight-team district with a lot of the same schools that we had last year. Pflugerville Hendrickson drops down to 5A and so does Leander, and with Hutto moving up to 6A, I could see them moving into this district, but that’s why we all wait for that announcement and go from there.

Have you made a decision regarding spring football practices?
We’re planing on having spring ball. I think spring ball’s great. It gives the kids a chance to show their growth during the offseason and gives them some opportunities to show coaches what they can do. I’m a big fan of spring ball, and I definitely plan on doing it  here.

Have you made any schematic decisions about what the Mavs are going to run or line up in?
Yeah, that’s something we’ve got to hold off on for just a little bit. I definitely have some ideas about things I want to see. Offensively, they’ve been very successful and been able to move the ball and put points on the board. There’s a lot of good skill players and lineman. I have a defensive background coming from Vandegrift and being the defensive coordinator. I plan on instilling a lot of the same philosophies and schemes that we were able to use at Vandegrift.

How valuable is spring football practice in installing those new philosophies and schemes?
It’s a chance for us to install and for the players to get used to my coaching style, the tempo and and way that I want practice run. The nice thing with spring ball is we don’t have a game that Friday night, so we can focus more on ourselves, our deficiencies and the install.

What are your impressions of the McNeil returners that you watched on film?
Talent, good work ethic, I really like the way that they competed, and there were a lot of good things on film.

I know Week 1 is a long way away, but what can fans expect of the Mavs?
I think what our fans should expect is that they’re going to see a talented team play fast, I think they’re going to see a team that is coached to be aggressive both on offense and defense. Offensively, we’re going to try and dictate to the defense with our schemes and our ability to stretch the field. Defensively, we’re going to be a very attacking defense, and we’re going to get after some people.

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